Last Saturday, New York followed in the sustainable footsteps of seven other states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont—we see you and salute you) by banning retailers from using single-use plastic bags. This is an awesome move for two reasons: It’s a huge step in reducing plastic waste statewide, and it provides us with an opportunity to show off our very cool reusable shopping bags.
Whether you’re using it to lug groceries home from the store, carry a bunch of citrus through the farmers market, or transport leftover cookies to work to share with your coworkers (please?), a reusable shopping bag is a piece of functional flair. It's the errand assistant you didn’t know you needed. We’ve rounded up ten of our favorites, suggested to you based on your favorite sandwich. Here's why: A sandwich is your personality between two slices of bread, and a reusable bag is your personality hitched over your shoulder. Scroll down to see which bag is right for you.
Bacon, egg, and cheese
You are late for work, or possibly hungover, or both, which is fun! Designed to look like the (now contraband) takeout bag from your corner bodega, this reusable shopper used to be kitschy but is now almost...edgy? Baggu is known for their ripstop totes, made from 40% recycled nylon sourced from pre-consumer waste, which easily fold away into their own tiny pouches. Keep one in your backpack or purse so you’re ready to shop without much planning. Ketchup, salt, and pepper, on a roll, please.
Utilitarian and a little Waspy, this sturdy tote makes as much sense sitting poolside at the country club filled with sunscreen as it does hauling organic lettuce home from the co-op. This bag is not messing around. Its fun accent color is navy. Reviewers claim it folds up easily and can even hold a small dog, if that’s your life! And it might be! You have a third piece of bread in the middle of you, seemingly for no reason at all. Anything is possible.
Girl, you messy. You’re a marinara stain waiting to happen. You need a bag big enough to double as a tablecloth (this one kind of looks like pants, so no one will even know if you spread it across your lap for lunch) and red enough to hide any errant splatters. Urban Renewal makes upcycled clothes and accessories from remnant fabric rolls, so you can feel good about bringing this washed canvas number into your life. It’s made of material that wasn’t meant to become a shopping bag, just as meatballs weren’t meant to be a sandwich filling, but we’re here now, and we have no regrets.
$39.00, Urban Outfitters
We need to talk about something: You are a ham and swiss sandwich with an accent. You’re really good! You’re often on brioche! Sometimes you’ve got a bechamel! But at your core, you are a very basic, very classic meat-and-cheese combination going by the name your teacher assigned you in sophomore year French. Your bag, then, is about as painfully Parisian as it gets, positively begging to be carried through a marché with a baguette poking out the top. I want to roll my eyes but I can’t deny it: You look incredibly chic.
To get a five year old hooked on the reusable shopping bag lifestyle (or to reconnect with a more innocent past self), find a bag with the most iconically ravenous storybook insect of all time printed on the side—no offense to the cast of James and the Giant Peach. Eric Carle’s stories still absolutely slap, and so does the combination of peanut butter and jelly. Despite their juvenile nature, both the books and the sandwich warrant a revisit if it’s been a while. For a proper experience, pull your favorite versions of the spreads off the shelf (extra crunchy pb and raspberry jam, if you’re in it to win it), assemble, and bite a hole right through the center of your sandwich (the caterpillar's signature move, as illustrated on the back of the bag).
Cucumber tea sandwich
Are you fancy or just obsessive? It’s unclear. Preferring a stack of perfect crustless triangles displayed on a multi-tiered silver tray to any other type of sandwich freaks me out a little, but I’m trying to meet you where you are. You know it’s barely a sandwich, right? It’s buttered white bread with barely a sliver of vegetable shingled in the center, invented to give you something to do with yourself while your tea cools to a drinkable temperature? Sorry, I want to understand!!! While I work on myself, please accept this grandma’s curtains-style shopper tote, complete with ruffle, perfect for when you have to go straight from the grocery store to your afternoon audience with a duchess.
If you don't Instagram your katsu sando, did you even eat one at all? Squishy and crunchy with a tidy cross section, your sandwich demands portrait mode, so your reusable shopping bag should too. This is actually a pack of ten bags, each of which fold up into themselves to form a tiny perfect nylon fruit (or a carrot). They're machine washable, hold up to 20 pounds a pop (which is a lot of milk bread and cabbage slaw), and come with a wrist strap to help you keep them on hand while you’re shopping. Tuck one away into every bag you own to make last-minute trips to CVS a little more kawaii.
Sometimes it’s the most basic formulas that leave the most room for interpretation. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato is a simple enough combination, and you can absolutely find a low-brow version at the 24-hour diner in your hometown for $6, served with a pickle spear on the side. But if you wanted to majorly ball out, a BLT would be a good framework to do it in, as well. Consider this tote the equivalent of the luxe $30 BLT, equipped with crispy strips of heritage breed bacon, farmers market lettuce, the best heirloom tomatoes of the season, and bougie bread from an artisanal local bakery. You're spending on the ingredients because, in the end, you want a statement sandwich; you could have any old black canvas bag, but why would you when you could have a statement black canvas bag? You're still a simple BLT at heart! But you're done up so deluxe you might as well put quotes around it.
Don’t get it twisted, you’re after the real thing: loaded with chả lụa and pate, pickled vegetables and a fistful of cilantro, with a slick of spicy mayonnaise to hold it all together. You want a baguette so crisp-crusted that biting through it counts as a workout. And you want the whole deal wrapped in paper and tucked into your net bag, which you sling over your shoulder to scooter through town. You look very good on your scooter, and you always wear a helmet, but it never screws up your hair. You had the wide mesh bag before it was cool.
The thing about a good falafel is you’re never exactly sure what’s all in there. Every bite is a delicious discovery: Is that grated cucumber? Fried eggplant? Garlicky yogurt sauce? A french fry or two, tucked in the bottom for good measure? This bag is like the pita pocket that keeps on giving—it has so many pouches and hidden compartments, you will 100 percent forget what you loaded it up with and be pleasantly surprised when you unpack it at home.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious